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Associate feature: Cloud solutions to cybersecurity

Associate feature: Cloud solutions to cybersecurity

From Holyrood Connect’s Cloud Services in the Public Sector 2020 Conference

Public sector organisations have always been and will continue to be under threat from cyberattacks. That was the key message from Zerto’s Michael Murphy in the session on embedding IT resilience.

“The big thing you have to start asking yourself is: are your people and processes ready to face a cyberattack? What will happen when that happens to your organisation? Not if, but when. And does the management of your organisation really get it? Do they understand that you need a strong culture and strong process around cyber resilience?” he asked.

Murphy explained there is a global trend at poor recovery after a cyberattack and this is frequently the most disruptive aspect. Think back to the NHS WannaCry attack in May 2017 – 19,000 appointments were cancelled as a direct result of it. He spoke at length about the benefits of continuing data protection via cloud technology, which ensures any recovery process is consistent and speeds up restoration.

Chair of Cyber Security Scotland Keith Nicholson highlighted the extent of cyber resilience problems in Scotland’s public sector. The biggest weaknesses are around data recovery, business continuity and disaster recovery.

And Deryck Mitchelson, the director of digital and information security at NHS National Services for Scotland (NSS), illustrated the problem well. He explained when the country went into lockdown in March, many NSS staff were left “scrambling around trying to find laptops for people to work on, or virtual desktops for people to use.” He explained: “Even though we thought we were pretty good with our business continuity planning at NSS, we found some of the basics, such as laptops, weren’t in place.”

But cloud solutions can be used to respond to these issues, hence the Scottish Government’s cloud-first approach and its cloud preparation plan. All of this can be used to avoid putting public safety and trust in public sector organisations at risk.

This piece was sponsored by Zerto.

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